Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bruny Island Cruise

Overall, an excellent trip, but the standout event was our boat trip with Bruny Island Cruises.  Top to bottom, an awesome experience!

We boarded a sleek, supersized speedboat in Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.  After we were decked out in full-length pullover spray coats and given ginger tablets to prevent motion sickness, you knew it was going to be incredible!

The trip south followed the rugged coast of the South Bruny Island National Park.  Periodically, we stopped and the crew discussed the history, geology, and wildlife of the area.  The crew was passionate about the trip and excellent at illuminating the unique characteristics of the area.

We added several birds to our list and learned some fascinating information.  For example, the Short-Tailed Shearwater makes a yearly migration to the Alaskan Aleutian islands.  In order to leave ontime for this massive trip, the pair fattens up their single chick to more than the adult size.  They then leave the chick to learn to fly and figure out the migration for itself!

We also viewed a haul-out of Australian Fur Seals.  This area is almost all males (the females reside in the Bass Straight).  The poor females give birth and then are impregnated a couple of weeks later, spending more than 95% of their adult lives pregnant!

Beyond these rocks, 2200km to the south, lies the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica.  With the cold sea spray and 3 meter swells, this was a trip that felt like being at the end of the earth.

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